The extension of the MRTS service up to Velachery was considered a boon by commuters travelling a long distance across the city. But not anymore. Unkempt station premises, poor facilities, lack of security and bad approach roads have all combined to make the daily trips on these trains an unpleasant exercise.

The Taramani railway station is a case in point. The approach road itself is riddled with potholes filled with muddy water, thanks to the mild evening showers. The vast expanse of the station premises is uncared for and gives one an eerie feeling after dusk. Wild shrubs and garbage strewn all around are not a pleasant sight.

Inside the station, stray dogs welcome you with menacing growls from dingy corners. There is hardly enough light to climb up the dirty steps, made worse by dripping rain water. The platform lacks basic facilities such as fans, public address system, water coolers and toilets.

D. Sripriya, a central government employee who parks her two-wheeler at the parking lot of the station before boarding the train to Fort station every day, rues the long walk from the parking lot to the station entrance. “I miss a train by the time I reach the station and walk up the stairs to reach the platform. There is no escalator and the lift is at the far corner.” She says the pay and use toilet is closed most of the time.

Safety concern

“Besides, when I return in the evening, the station and its surrounding are clothed in darkness. We feel unsafe to walk in the darkness. We have also heard about instances of chain snatching and harassment of women passengers arriving here in late evenings,” she adds. J. Chandra Sekar, who commutes to his work place on Mount Road, says the approach to the station is appalling. “While the road is in bad shape, the encroachment of the road space by huge buses of IT companies and private engineering colleges makes it difficult for the public to enter the station premises during the morning rush hour. There is total chaos,” he states.

The parking lot too is becoming a dumping ground and the flow of sewage water and flooding after a rain make it difficult for people to access the parking lot, he complains.

Echoing similar views, P. Akshara says that between 8.30 a.m. and 9.30 a.m., when there is a heavy rush of passengers, the buses of IT companies are parked all around the premises. “It is a daily struggle for my husband to manoeuvre our car through these buses to drop me at the station entrance,” she says.

She feels that the vast space could be used to create a bus stop and ply MTC buses for the commuters.

Saraswathy Srinivasan

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Poor facilities and lack of security at the Taramani MRTS station worry passengers.